How to make your LinkedIn profile all-star. (2020 Checklist included)

LinkedIn has been the main marketing platform for us for over 5 years already.
My team has helped more than 300 businesses and individuals to create a good LinkedIn profile. We also create and implement various LinkedIn Marketing strategies. I believe I’ve gathered a lot of insights, and it’s time to share them
.

 

Let’s start with some motivation.

 

What if I tell you that more than 80% of social media leads in the B2B market are generated through LinkedIn?

b2b-leads-generated-from-social-media

This significant number alone should be enough reason for you to consider working with this platform. However, if you need some more reasons, here they are:

  • Increase your brand’s online presence
  • Stay up to date on news from your connections
  • Engage your clients, prospects, and partners with content
  • Show off your expertise, skills, and knowledge
  • Reach your target audience
  • Increase SEO

 

On top of that, here are some more stats:

  • According to Forbes, 45 percent of LinkedIn users are in upper management.
  • According to LinkedIn, 91 percent of executives rate LinkedIn as their first choice for professionally relevant content.
  • Moreover, 30M+ companies are represented on LinkedIn.
  • 50 percent of B2B web traffic originating from social media comes from LinkedIn.

 

I hope I’ve convinced you to think seriously about using LinkedIn. Now, let’s get to the main purpose of this article – sharing some ideas on how you can make an All-Star profile. Profile, that has added value and brings benefits.

good LinkedIn profile

Usually, we scan a profile from top to bottom and try to find sections that could be improved. Here are some parts to pay attention to:

 

      1. Profile link.

You can shorten this and remove unnecessary symbols at the end of your name. Or think what word describes you best way and add it instead. For example, “author”, “your company name”, “CEO”.

 

      2. Banner.

Most users have the default one, so it is a good idea to put a custom image there. The simplest thing would be to use your company’s branding with a CTA or a short description of your main product/service. Also, I like it to match the color with the background of your profile image. A proper cover photo is a great chance for your profile to stand out visually.

 

      3. Profile image (avatar).

This is a very important part along with the headline. When people find you in the search – the image and the headline (along with your name) will be the top two things they will see. Remember, these aspects influence their decision of whether they want to learn more about you (by viewing your full profile or adding you right away).

Some tips regarding a good profile picture:

  • Make sure your face takes up at least 60% of the frame
  • Choose the right expression. (Adjust it to your current position and industry and don’t be too serious)
  • Wear what you’d wear to work, try to avoid vacation shots
  • Make sure you are the only one in the photo

Here are a couple of examples:

       

      4. Headline.

I believe this is one of the most important parts of your profile (for the reason mentioned above). The site automatically makes your headline your current job title and employer. And that’s what most people stick with. And that’s why it’s boring and unattractive when it should be eye-catching. Do you use your profile for networking, getting hired, establishing credibility, or recruiting? No matter what your LinkedIn goals are, standing out is a good thing.

Here are some tips on creating a good headline:

  • Add your value proposition. Make it clear how prospects can benefit from connecting with you
  • Use keywords others might use when needing your services. (Don’t overdo it here, you don’t want a list of hashtags in your headline)
  • You have 120 characters to use, but keep it short and simple
  • I suggest avoiding using bold symbols and emojis. They certainly make your headline pop out, but not always in a good way.
  • Use your prospect’s language
  • Don’t brag. No, really, don’t brag. Avoid being a superior human on LinkedIn. Just write about your professional achievements and work you are doing. Write it honestly and naturally.

   

     5. Summary.

Third in my importance ranking after the profile photo and headline. This is a quite large area for showcasing your writing skills. You have 2,600 characters to use, and this part is SEO sensitive. It means you want to use as many characters as possible.

There are different styles of writing a summary, and you should choose one that resonates with your current goals on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn Summary is the place where you tell your story. Don’t confuse it with the Experience section. The first few lines are absolutely critical (first 300 characters). They’re the only thing viewers see when they first look at your profile. This means the words need to be so magnetic and enticing that they make the reader click on “show more” to get the whole story.

Some tips on writing a good summary:

  • Consider your audience and appeal to them. You can’t satisfy everyone, and it’s not a good idea to have multiple goals with one summary. Choose one audience and one goal and go for it. It would be a nice idea to write your summary based on the Value Proposition you are currently using. 

 

  • Include keywords and make sure that they are applied truthfully.
  • Tell a story, be authentic, and talk about your talents.
  • It’s a good idea to share some metrics here.
  • Business owner? It’s a good place to tell the story of your business, your motivation, and your goals.
  • You can attach your sales decks, presentations, or links to websites to the summary. Make sure you have a nice preloader.

Important note: actually, you can link to some media every your work experience or education. Try to remember and find some relevant and put it to your LinkedIn profile. Even if nobody clicks on it, a couple of links that lead to pages that showcase your achievements make the profile more credible and impressive. On the other hand, don’t put too much. A few links will be absolutely enough.

 

Here’s an awesome Case Study that shows what can be done using a well-optimized LinkedIn profile.

 

        6. Experience.

Just fill it out. Try to show only relevant experience, especially when you have a lot to show. Make sure you link your position to the LinkedIn company page. The company’s logo should appear on the left of the experience section. For that, you have to make sure to create a company page.

It would be a good idea to fill in a description of each position. You can write about your:

  • achievements
  • responsibilities
  • challenges
  • or simply put a company description here if you are lazy (or if you are a business owner)

 

         7. Education.
Make sure to have at least one mentioned. LinkedIn wants you to complete the profile and awards you with an “All-Star” profile only when all of the most important sections are completed.

 

         8. Skills.

Skills. Use keywords you want to be associated with. Try avoiding essential skills like Microsoft Word, or Computer Literacy. You can use a maximum of 50 skills, but it is better to have 10-20 relevant ones than 50 random ones. Also, pay attention to the endorsements of your skills. An easy way to earn some is simply by endorsing other people and hoping they will endorse you back 😉

Mind that LinkedIn initially shows 3 most important skills. Mainly, these are the most endorsed. However, tapping the “see more” button enables you to endorse some other skills that are less endorsed. It can be important for people and they could return the favor.

 

LinkedIn add skills

         9. Recommendations.

This is a very important section that makes your profile more credible. Make sure to ping your contacts (clients, colleagues, friends) and ask them to exchange a recommendation with you. Sometimes, especially when contacting very lazy people, it is a good idea to have a draft recommendation ready, so they don’t feel like they need to waste a lot of time completing this task.

        10. Other.
There are many optional sections on your LinkedIn profile you can fill out, and if you have something to put there, I strongly recommend you do so. These include:

  • volunteering experience

LinkedIn helps you and proposes areas of volunteering. At the same moment, you should fill your volunteering section with real companies or organizations. Perhaps you are involved in pro-ecology activities? Write it down. Your values connect you with those who share the same ideas.

  • completed courses

It’s not necessary to visit some courses after work. Perhaps, you are excited about the new area and have finished dozens of online-courses.

  • certifications

There are different possibilities to get one: courses, conferences, schools – everything relevant that shows your expertise.

  • publications

Sometimes one good article is much better than numerous mediocre ones. Maybe it’s time to describe some cases or advice and share it with some niche media?

  • projects

The project is a nice word. Sometimes your work includes a lot of projects, but you don’t think about it this way. Look at your responsibilities and highlight projects. You and other people will better understand what you are doing and what your accomplishments are.

  • awards

Not necessary to get a Nobel prize. Perhaps your company is in some top 20 list. If you feel you are related to this – share it with others.

  • organizations

If your work is attached to creative industries and you were a member of the photo club – write it down

  • languages

The more – the better. However, knowing a couple of common phrases does not count.  If you know the language on a basic level – don’t mention it. Only in case when being able to find your way to the library using this language is considered as an advantage (for some reason).

Speaking about languages. Possibly, that your potential connections, leads, customers live in countries that speak different languages. In this case, you can have the same profile in different languages

linkedin all star profile

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